Got my brother down ’cause it’s nothing to me

14 03 2017

I, along with every single other Hillary Clinton voter, am tired of hearing how we, who did not vote for the racist poo-flinging toddler for president, must sympathize, must empathize, with those who did.

Especially when that means they will be hurt by those they voted for.

Fuck that. They’re adults and citizens who bear responsibility for their votes. If they couldn’t be bothered to learn that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare were the same damned thing, if they voted for Republicans who’ve promised for years and years and years to cut back on the social safety net and cut taxes the most for those who need it the least, if they decided that it was more important to make sure Those Others got less than everyone getting more, then they should goddamned own that.

They are my fellow citizens, my equals before the law and holding the exact same rights as me. I’m not going to treat them as lesser by condescending to them, ‘poor things’.

That long rant-claimer out of the way: they are my fellow citizens, and if I believe, as I do, that we should have universal coverage and more generous welfare for all, that means for all.

I get the impulse behind such monumentally shitty ideas as blue-state secession, but, as Hamilton Nolan points out,

The impulse to bandy about the threat of secession is not rooted in concern for the vulnerable. It is a tantrum by rich people who are angry that their political power temporarily does not match their economic power. Think about how shallow a self-proclaimed liberal’s commitment to social justice has to be for them to say that the proper response to the ascent of a quasi-fascist amoral strongman is to cede him the majority of the nation’s territory and stop helping to support social programs for everyone not lucky enough to live in a coastal state.

More to the point,

It is fine to point out that Donald Trump is a charlatan and the ignorant are his prey. It is not fine to conclude that they should all then be sentenced to die due to the Republican health care “reform” plan.

Nolan goes a bit more noblesse oblige than I’m comfortable with—“The responsibility of the coastal elites is to help those people, not cast them into the wilderness”—but I do think I have a responsibility to the fellow members of my polity.

Thus, if I think a policy—say, universal health care—is a good one, then I’m not going to say “but not for you”, that is, I’m not going to abandon a better policy for a worse one just to punish people who didn’t vote the way I did. Spite’s a helluva drug, but rather too corrosive to indulge with any regularity.

That said, as someone who prefers parliamentary systems to the Madisonian one we’ve got precisely because I think it leads to more “responsible” government—because a party has few structural barriers to enacting its policies, it fully owns those policies—there is a part of me that says, Well, if this is what you want, this is what you get. In other words, if Republican government and policies is what the unemployed coal miners who rely upon the ACA voted for, then it makes sense that they should bear the consequences of their votes.

Except: our system isn’t parliamentary and I’m not a Republican. I think their policies are bad and given that our system does allow for obstruction, then Democrats should obstruct all proposals that would make life worse for Americans and fight for those which make life better.

I think Trump is terrible and his administration a disgrace and the Republicans in Congress mean sons-of-bitches, and entirely too many of their supporters applaud the terrible meanness. Still, I’ll be damned if I let my disdain for them lead me away from what I think is good.

h/t Scott Lemieux





Mayan Campaing Mashup 2012: Mitt’s unwit

12 01 2012

Shocking news: I am not a fan of Mitt Romney.

I’m not at all clear why he’s running for president, other than that he wants to be president, and I don’t think he’d be any good at the job.

I also think that for all his professionalism as a campaigner, he doesn’t really understand what the presidency requires.

Matt Yglesias has a nice take on this:

Of course there is envy in America, but there’s also spite. And I think you see some of it in Romney’s reply. He has a lot of money, personally. That money is very useful to him in a number of ways. It lets him consume more goods and services. It offers him security against the ups and downs in life. It lets him be assured that his kids will have a leg up in life. But over and above that, Romney seems to revel in the idea of being better than the lower orders of society and resists the leveling impulse even though it would in concrete terms leave him with plenty of money.

I don’t know if he’s spiteful or not, but  statements about envy and [the out-of-context] “I like being able to fire people” make it difficult to conclude otherwise.

Narrative, man, narrative! You do not want to feed your weaknesses: it doesn’t turn the weakness into strength, but strengthens the weakness. Tch tch tch.

Anyway, this gives me another chance to pull out a much-used Rousseau quote:

[I]f one sees a handful of powerful and rich men at the height of greatness and fortune while the mob grovels in obscurity and misery, it is because the former prize the things they enjoy only to the extent that the others are deprived of them; and because, without changing their position, they would cease to be happy, if only the people ceased to be miserable.

This is not the impression you want to leave with would-be voters.

h/t  James Fallows